Ride Concepts advertises their shoes as premium footwear for mountain biking. I set out on this review to either confirm or deny this claim and to give an honest rating based on my experience using their product.
I had the privilege of testing out the Livewire model for this review. The Livewire is part of the men’s Session Series products from Ride Concepts. The models in this series of mountain biking shoes cover park pumpers, single track riders and casual cruisers.
Ride Concepts Livewire
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5) Comfort
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Traction
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Durability
Overall Rating: 4.6
I was pleasantly surprised with my experience testing these flat pedal shoes. I wore them in a number of different situations including cross-country and downhill riding as well as post-ride walk around town.
The Livewire is a do-it-all, flat pedal, mountain bike shoe with an impressive amount of technical capability and comfort.
Overall, I found myself more impressed on each ride with this mountain bike shoe compared to others shoes on the market.
The first thing I noticed about the Livewire was the build construction when I pulled them out of the box. I noticed that the soles looked extremely durable and I could tell that all of the glued seams were there to last.
The toe box was cleverly constructed with molded toe protection and a durable mesh top cover.
As I loosened the laces and slipped my foot inside, I felt the wide tongue mold around the top of my foot.
The heel cup fit snug and I had no slippage when walking. The shoes felt like they were custom fit to perfectly match the shape of my feet.
The insoles felt soft and comfortable, both under the ball and heel of each of my feet.
After you lace up these shoes, don’t forget to place your tie loops underneath the included elastic band. It is located on the tongue between the third and fourth lacing holes and has a pull tab for easy use. This will keep you from catching those laces on your pedals or in your front chain ring.
What about on-the-bike performance?
On the bike, I could tell immediately that the DST 6.0 soles were not going to fail me when riding aggressively. They were tacky, yet firm, and the hexagon lugs matched up well with the pins on my flat pedals. On climbs, my feet stayed connected with the pedals on both the downstroke and the upstroke. I asked myself, “Why do these feel just as good as clipless-pedals and shoes?” Traction was amazing both on the pedals and on rocks when hike-a-biking uphill on gnarly sections.
When descending rocky, technical terrain, I never felt like my feet were going to slip off the pedals. I could place my feet on the pedals at the beginning of a downhill, quickly twist my heels back and forth a bit and then I felt connected and in total control. The shoes performed amazingly well in dry, wet and muddy conditions.
Bunny hopping and launching off rocks was satisfying in these shoes too. They gave me complete confidence that my feet would stay positioned correctly and that there would be no slippage upon landing. This proved to be true each time I launched into the air.
Here’s a quick list of features about the Livewire:
- Rubber Kinetics | DST 6.0 HIGH GRIP Rubber Outsole
- D3O High Impact Zone Insole Technology
- Durable, synthetic upper with anti-abrasion mesh
- Custom molded toe and heel guard protection
- EVA midsole provides support and shock absorption
- Fully gusseted tongue prohibits intake of dirt and debris
- Modern lifestyle Performance Fit
- Approximate weight – 16 oz (455 g)
Pros & Cons:
- Excellent comfort on and off the bike.
- DST 6.0 Rubber performs well in all conditions.
- Comfortable insole and form fitting outer shell.
- Convenient elastic band to keep tie loops tucked in.
- Long tongue tends to rub against top of the ankle until broken in.
- Elastic band should be a different color. It’s hard to spot but a great feature everyone should use.
Ride Concepts Livewire Mountain Bike Shoes. I found them to live up to what is being advertised. Ride Concepts could very well produce the most comfortable, most durable and most reliable mountain bike footwear on the planet. I highly recommend these shoes. They took my riding to the next level.
Visit your local shop or order online. Head on over to their site now and check ’em out.
➳ Outdoor Prolink provided equipment and associated materials for this review. All photos are a courtesy of LaGuardia Adventure Photography.